Long Island News
Smith Haven Mall reopens after water leak
LAKE GROVE, N.Y. -- A Long Island shopping mall reopened Tuesday, a day after a leaking roof sent water cascading into some stores and prompted an evacuation over concerns about a possible roof collapse.
No injuries were reported after the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove was evacuated Monday afternoon. The mall was in the bull's-eye of a weekend blizzard that dumped 30 inches or more of snow across eastern Long Island, followed by a Monday rainstorm.
Smithtown Building Department Director John Bongino said officials are concerned that the weight from the snow and rain could lead to building collapses, especially on structures with flat roofs.
A mall spokeswoman said most of the 140 stores had reopened as of midday Tuesday, although a few would remain closed until further notice as a precaution. Bongino said mall employees had been working to clear rooftop drainage pipes to allow some of the water to empty, easing pressure on the roof.
He said most of the leaks appear to have come through air conditioning units.
Bongino said Monday night that one of the leaks looked "almost as if there was an open ceiling and it was raining."
Concerns about roof collapses were widespread around the county on Tuesday.
In Mastic, the roof of a home partially collapsed, according to Jack Krieger, a spokesman for the town of Brookhaven. No injuries were reported.
In Patchogue, officials were investigating a collapse at a vacant auto parts store, and Deer Park High School sent students home after a leaky roof.
Roofs also collapsed over the weekend at a Suffolk County bowling alley and a home.
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